Given that Tokyo is a mecca for Keirin racing and having lusted after my fair share of NJS frames you know I’m keeping an eye out for cool bikes while I’m walking around. I was hoping Tokyo Fixed Gear would be helpful but either the connection from this hotel is spotty or something is up as it just won’t seem to load for me at the moment. I found a blog post listing a bunch of shops that specialize in fixed gear bikes and if possible I’m going to try to hit up one or two of ’em. At least one is right down the street from my hotel anyway:
J-SIX BLDGS 2F. 6-23-11 Jinguu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
I’ve also been skimming the past few posts on Jitensha-jin hoping for some other details. This is exactly why I set up Fixedr.com and I’m going to try and put some of these links and resources there. Hopefully more people will continue to use it and that’ll will make future hunts like this much easier for me and others.
When I got to my hotel in Shibuya last night the first thing I did was turn on the TV and see what gameshows were on. I don’t know what the one I finally settled on was called but it consisted of a host saying a string of 3 words like “frame frame flame” and then a panel of 6 contestants who would have to figure out which was the different word. Was amusing to say the least.
I barely unpacked before deciding I had to hit the streets and hunt for something to eat, which I found quickly at the corner mart near the hotel. Natto maki, Inari, and Pocari Sweat. The dinner of champions!
I walked around for a while after that and felt a lot of what I felt the last time I was here. People told me the awe and wide eyed amazement of Tokyo wears off quickly but I was here for 2 solid weeks last year and while it got more familiar it wasn’t any less amazing. This time it’s just as fantastic, I really love this city and could see myself living here or at least spending a lot of time here. It’s alive 24 hours a day, there’s a million things going on, bikes everywhere, and amazing trains and transport. All things that turn my eyes into pulsing pink hearts when talking about a city.
The fun wild card thrown into this trip is that I brought 2 credit cards to cover any expenses or things that might come up. One of them notified me about 48 hours ago that “due to the current economic situation” they are readjusting credit limits on all their accounts to reduce risk. That means lowering my limit to $100 above my current balance. Not helpful. The other, which I specifically called and asked them to approve for usage in Japan was throwing errors last night, so I gotta call them during US working hours today. That leaves me with the 9,000 Yen I have in my pocket, so adventure here we come!
My jet lag fighting techniques so far have just been to switch to Tokyo time as quickly as possible. I changed my clocks the moment I got on the plane and slept right away to match timing here. I made sure to be asleep by 11PM and awake by 6am this morning so maybe I can fool myself. We’ll see. Now I’m running out for breakfast before a day full of meetings. Will post pics on flickr when I’m able!
I’m sitting on the couch starring at my laptop when when I should be doing is packing. I should be looking at weather forecasts and deciding what is the most sensible sweater to bring. I should be running to the post office to drop off my hold mail notice. I should be taking out the trash and making sure the cats have plenty of water. I should be double checking that I have the power cords for the electronics I have in tow. Instead I’m still sitting on my couch.
My house sitter is confirmed and has the keys and in a few hours I’ll be on a flight to San Francisco, in a few days on a flight to Tokyo, then back to Vancouver via SF before finally returning to LA in time for my house warming party. Just in time. At some point in between there I need to start thinking about which bigger pieces of furniture that I own I will move into storage, which I want to sell, and which I want to try to move across the state. A lot of that will be determined by some of the meeting I’m heading to Tokyo for as Multibasing is taking another major step towards becoming a working reality.
LA has gotten it’s revenge on me for these thoughts as well. I’m definitely mid-course on a full blown sinus infection. I used to get these from time to time but over the last few years they’ve really picked up and my friend Shawn who has a wall full of very impressive medical degrees tells me the two biggest causes of that are the shitty air quality in LA (mostly the ash from fires rather than the smog) and my fondness for riding a bike very fast all over town (which results in frequent heavy breathing, often through my nose). One of the things I love to do most in this city is one of the things that may cause me to need massive head surgery. Excellent. One more reason I’m considering the benefits of spending much more of my time in other cities. Though recently it’s been less assured that it’s not all going to burn one way or another.
OK, dryer just finished. I really need to go pack.
To answer a few questions I’ve been asked frequently in the last two days, yes, Tara and I are really engaged. It really happened on twitter. It wasn’t planned or rehearsed. We didn’t expect the overwhelming reaction. It was totally spur of the moment. I’m psyched beyond belief and can’t wait to see what will happen next.
Tara already wrote a bit about her take on it all and I wanted to echo much of what she said and throw a few of my own cents into the ring simply because I haven’t said much about it. For all the guts I regularly spill here I tend to lean more towards the “here’s what I’m trying to figure out” or “here’s what I’m thinking about” side of things and rarely venture into the “this is how I feel” zone. Well, I’m venturing there now. As you may have guessed from the whole marriage proposal thing I’m madly, deeply and completely in love with Tara Brown. I’m floored that she feels the same way, even more so because if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I’m the last one who ever thought this would happen.
I met Tara in Austin earlier this year, she was a friend of some friends and we instantly clicked. We talked a lot in the following months and about a week after a road trip we took, over text messages no less, we both confessed how infatuated we were with each other and how we both wanted to put some effort into “us” and see where it might lead. I dare say that since then, every day that we’ve been together and every day that we’ve been apart, those feelings have only gotten stronger. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her, hell I can’t wait to spend another 5 minutes with her.
So why so soon, and why ask over Twitter? If there’s one thing I’ve learned through everything I’ve been through it’s that there’s no time like the present. I’ve been saying that my whole life, but I finally started living it and it changed everything for me. You only live once and when you are sure of something there’s no point in waiting. You regret the things you don’t do way more than the things you do, right? So I dove in. We dove in. Last month Tara wrote in a blog post about our relationship saying “I can definitely report that being with Sean means lack of routine. We pretty much plan things spur of the moment.” And that’s true. Our entire relationship has been that way and it’s working famously, so why should the next step be any different. I can’t find the first thing I ever sent her on Twitter (since archives don’t go back that far anymore) but needless to say we’ve been using that as a main form of communication since day one and it just made sense. For us anyway, and that’s all that matters.
Lots of people have been asking about the future. Who is moving where, when is the wedding, what color will the brides maids dresses be, etc. My reply to all of this is have you met us? Christ, we barely have solid plans 48 hours in advance, do you you think any of that is confirmed yet? That said, this and a few other factors make it fairly safe to say that I’ll be around SF a lot more in the near future but where we’ll be a year from now is anyone’s guess. But stay tuned, I’m sure it’s going to be a wild ride.
I’ve clearly fallen back to the “overthink it and never end up doing it” side of blogging from my previous snuggly home over on the “don’t think about it at all just vomit it out and hit publish” side. I’m sure there’s a happy medium between the two I just haven’t had luck yet putting my finger on it. What I do know is it turns out you can’t say “I’m going to blog every day” and “I’m only going to blog well written thought out and edited pieces” and expect that to happen overnight. Or in the next day or two. I guess it’s more of a gradual change from one to another. But I’m done talking about blogging for the moment.
For the first time since I first set foot in SoCal Los Angeles hasn’t been feeling like home. It’s a weird thing to describe, I love this city like no other I’ve ever lived in. When describing that to people in the past I would usually note that I moved around a lot as a kid and once I moved out on my own I kind of kept up that pattern. I’d be in an apartment for a little over a year, or in a city for around 3 years before I started feeling the urge to move on. That all changed when I moved to LA and it was the first time that I could remember that I just felt at home the moment I got here. Years later I felt that same spark when I’d go on a trip and come back. I thought this meant I found the place I’d probably be forever. But that’s all changed in the past few months.
There’s many things that probably play into that – my amazing girlfriend living in another city; the fact that I sold my car last year and now commute by bike and the increasingly hot weather here makes it less than fun to get around many hours of the day; the fact that I recently moved back into an apartment I lived in for years in a past life; the fact that I went from a fairly free travel schedule to being constantly stressed about who would take care of the cats I suddenly ended up with and need find a home for; and just that I’ve lived here for almost 8 years now which is almost twice as long as I lived anywhere else in my life. A few months ago I started thinking about what it would be like to live somewhere else. I didn’t get a good answer then, but the question was officially planted.
All this has me thinking a lot about new chapters in life. A few friends have moved recently, gotten married, sold companies, all kinds of things that begin new chapters in their lives and close up old ones. In books chapters are so clear, the text ends there’s some white space, and then a number signifying the next one. It would be awesome if things were that clear in life. What I know is that the last few times I’ve come back to LA I haven’t gotten that overwhelming wave of “I’m home!” and that’s something that I haven’t taken lightly. In fact it’s something I can’t really stop thinking about.
In addition to where I’m at I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing. It’s immensely important to me that I’m proud of what I’m doing each day, and that I feel like it’s making a difference. I don’t have much more to say about that right now – I think I just need to remind myself of that from time to time. I blame punk rock and hearing Ian MacKaye scream “What the fuck have you done?!” too many times as a kid. Of course I wouldn’t change a thing about that. It’s good to have a reason to keep pushing.
In the past decade I've lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and now in Vancouver. I've run hackerspaces and blog networks, an art gallery, a design firm and a record label. I'm one of the co-founders of the environmental non-profit Safecast, a Shuttleworth Fellow and have been an Associate Professor at Keio University and a Researcher at the MIT Media Lab. I take photos and make noisy ambient music under the name Delay 5000 (D5K). For most of the last 2 years I've been working around NFTs and Web3. Read more about me here. I don't use Facebook.
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